A New Study Could Indicate That Divorce Rate is Lower Among Same-Sex Couples, but Data Seems Incomplete


same-sex-divorceOne of the most repeated statistics about marriage is that half of them end in divorce, but the fact that more and more states are recognizing same-sex marriages is changing the discourse. According to the Huffington Post, a recent study by the Williams Institute could indicate that rates of divorce are lower among same-sex couples than different-sex couples.

One of the conclusions of the study is that same-sex couples divorce at a rate of about 1.1% annually, which is “slightly lower” than the rate of divorce among different-sex couples. Some of the most common reasons for divorce — among all couples — are infidelity, financial problems, abuse, loss of interest, and communication problems.

According to CNN, same-sex marriage is legal in 35 states and the District of Columbia, banned in 10 states, and under court review in the states that remain. Some states recognize varying degree of partnership, like civil unions and domestic partnerships.

Though the data seems to be promising for same-sex couples, it does also seem rather incomplete. Data was gathered from only two states that have legalized same-sex marriage — Vermont and New Hampshire. Otherwise, only six states offered data on civil unions and domestic partnership terminations. Additionally, data was only collected over a period of four years, and previous research shows that first marriages that end in divorce typically don’t fail until after the eight-year mark.

Another factor that may affect the interpretation of this data is that the dissolution of domestic partnerships, civil unions, and marriages of same-sex couples can be a more complicated process than for heterosexual couples. The process for divorce is already lengthy and complicated; divorce proceedings in the U.S. often last an entire year.

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